Is the banking boom sustainable?

Investment banks continued to ride high in 2006 on good fundamentals and the added boost of strong hedge fund and private equity activity, proprietary trading and continuing globalization.

Wealth management: Why performance matters

Traditionally seen as great for service, but second best in investment performance, private banks have been polishing up their act, investing in research and third-party products to diversify portfolios and win back market share in asset management from other financial service providers.

Wiener Börse: The alternative AIM

Heinrich Schaller, joint CEO of the Wiener Börse, believes that he can challenge AIM for listings for western European companies with an eastern European focus.

Russian investment banks scrabble for a strategy

Western investment banks are competing to acquire Russian investment houses, while the chief executive of VTB, the country’s second-largest bank, is prioritizing either the acquisition of a local investment bank or the establishment of a partnership with an international player.

Kazakhstan: Investment banks mining a rich seam

What’s bad news for the hard-pressed bean counters at financial institutions across Europe trying to curb the exorbitant expenses claims of their equity capital market teams promises to be good news for AirAstana, the leading Kazakh airline that’s one of the candidates for a stock market listing in 2007.

North America: US battle for rich pickings grows fiercer

The US private banking market is becoming increasingly competitive as domestic and foreign players battle it out for the country’s wealthiest clients, who are making increasingly complex demands that require more holistic approaches from banks.

Geopolitics: The Hegemon stumbles

Major errors of concept and execution in the Iraq war have weakened the US: a sharp lesson in the limits of what seemed like limitless power.

Russia: Ring fence on investment is breached

Amendments to banking legislation that will abolish the requirement for foreign investors to obtain permission from the central bank before buying equity in Russian banks passed their first reading in the Duma (parliament) at the end of November.

Asia: Is Japan still a tough nut to crack?

The expulsion of Citigroup Private Bank from Japan in 2004 was merely the most dramatic of a string of failures among foreign firms that have too often misread the attitudes of investors and regulators.

Europe: Will Europe burst asunder?

Europe’s economies are split in two: the surpluses of the centre and the north, versus the deficits of the UK, France, and the Mediterranean and accession countries.

The world on the cusp

Another record year for financial institutions suggests no end to the boom in global financial markets.

Vienna bourse sows the seeds of good neighbourliness

In spite of all the takeover talk among major global exchanges, and the heavy consolidation in eastern Europe’s banking sector, not everyone believes that acquisitions are the only way to expand business in the region.